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Thread: How To Make a (Very) Home-made Strop: A life in pictures.

  1. #1
    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
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    Default How To Make a (Very) Home-made Strop: A life in pictures.

    Last time I made some 'roo strops I promised Robin (BeBerlin) that I would put together a little photo tutorial if I were to ever do it again. Well, I have done it again and, true to my word, here is a little photo tutorial.

    Step 1. Get some leather.

    The choice is yours really. If you are only going to make a strop for yourself you probably just want to get hold of a nice single piece from a leather retailer (perhaps already cut to size and maybe a bit larger than you want - see below). I on the other hand want to make my strops out of Kangaroo, and as far as I know you cannot just buy a single piece. So I have bought a couple of hides - both veg tanned, one natural colouring and one dyed chocolate.

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    Step 2. Get the stuff.


    1. Straight edges: a metal ruler and a set square;
    2. A Stanley knife (for cutting with );
    3. A hammer to really get those corners at right-angles with a gentle tap (just kidding - for punching holes and setting rivets);
    4. A small anvil (solid surface for hole punching and rivet setting);
    5. Leather punch of a size appropriate to your rivets;
    6. A rivet peener;
    7. Rivets;
    8. Something with which to attach your strop to the wall, door etc (I use welded D-rings, but this is just one option).

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    Step 3. Cut the Leather.

    The size that you make your strop will be a personal choice. For ease, I make mine the width of the ruler (about 2.4") and approx 19" in length. A word of warning (gained through bitter, bitter experience): measure 5 times and cut once. Make sure you get the cut right the first time, because (unless you are a better man than I) going back to "trim it up" nearly always ends in wobbly edges and looks like rubbish. Make sure everything is square or again it will look like rubbish. Keep the leftover bits of leather, they can come in handy.

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    Step 4. Little Square bits.

    In this step I cut the little square pieces (from the leftover leather) that I use to attach the D-ring, via rivets, to the main body of the strop. I try to make these the same width as the strop.

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    Step 5. Triangles in the little square bits.

    My D-rings are narrower than the little square bits are wide. Therefore I need to cut triangles out of the leather so that the rings will fit properly. Measure this bit very carefully, as even a small misalignment can cause things to become crooked.

    Measure the width of the straight part of the D-ring. Then, mark off the small piece of leather so that this space is centred (in both horizontal and vertical directions) after you cut out the triangular piece of leather from each side.

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    Step 6. Hole Punching

    Now that you have the main strop body and the small piece of leather cut out, measure (I do not ) evenly the places where you want to rivet the two pieces of leather together and punch the holes with the leather punch. Again, be careful here because you cannot put the holes back if you misalign them.

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    James.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 05-07-2009 at 04:16 AM.
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  3. #2
    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
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    Default Part II

    Step 7. Attach D-ring with Rivets.

    Now all you have to do is put the D-ring onto the small bit of leather and attach that using the rivets. Rivets have two sides - it probably looks best if the domed head (female part) of the rivet is facing the treated side of the strop. Just whack in the male part, place the dome on top, get a nice secure surface, and use the rivet peening tool and hammer to gently but firmly secure the pieces.

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    Step 8. Sit back and admire your efforts.

    That is it, all done. I attach a piece of kangaroo lace to the D-ring so that it is easier to attach the strop to things in the bathroom like towel racks and so forth.

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    Now go forth and enjoy your new strop, with the relish that only comes when the fruits are borne from your own efforts!

    James.
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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Very nice presentation!

    Do you do anything to prep your leather or was yours good to go when you got it?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimR's Avatar
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    Sweet! Very effective and to the point. I like your style, young man!

    How much does a Roo hide run you?

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    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
    Very nice presentation!

    Do you do anything to prep your leather or was yours good to go when you got it?
    Thanks Utopian!

    No, it was all ready to go. However, because Kangaroos are not farmed but are killed in the wild, the leather can have lumps and bumps here and there from barbed-wire scars etc. It does not effect the stropping that I have noticed, but on some of these ones (particularly the ones off the big old natural fellow) I will most likely do a light sanding.

    James.
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    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    Sweet! Very effective and to the point. I like your style, young man!

    How much does a Roo hide run you?
    Thanks Jim!

    At the moment a Roo hide over here costs 114 AUD per square meter. That natural hide in the first photo was a biggun at 1.3 square meters (must have been a large old Roo). Most Roo hides are smaller than the square meter - maybe 0.8-0.9 - at the place I buy them.

    A word of warning if you want to use Roo hide (and this probably applies to other leather too). It is best, for the reasons I mentioned in my reply to Utopian, that you physically check the hides yourself. Some are very scarred and usesless for strops. Others have suffered damage in transit or at the tanners and have big scratches in them.

    James.
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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warning Jimbo. The next time I find a road kill Roo here in Iowa, I will keep that in mind!

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Great tutorial there Jimbo.
    Like that steel ruler. Perfect size & all
    Those in the room who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

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    Senior Member TomSD's Avatar
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    Excellent write up... love the pictures!

    Do you bother to put a handle/tab on the other end or just leave it natural?

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    Senior Member claytor's Avatar
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    Awesome tutorial. I should see if I can get my hands on a Roo strop to compare it to bovine.

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